One thing that NotGraphs readers might not know about me is that I’m a huge fan of alternate history stories. This is one reason that I found this Bleacher Report article/slideshow so utterly enthralling.
So enthralling, indeed, that I felt compelled to take the premise and run with it. Please find my Jesus Montero “What Would Have Been” moment submissions below.
Jesus Montero…blah blah blah…traded…blah blah blah…what could have been…blah blah blah. Blah:
10. Jesus Montero struggles mightily in his Rookie season with the Yankees. He finishes the season with a .220/.275/.345 line in 400 plate appearances.
9. A month into the season, fans and the NY media begin to grow impatient with Montero’s slow start. By mid-May, boos can be heard at Yankee Stadium when his name is announced.
8. The struggles continue into June. Things come to a head when he goes 0 for 4 in a loss against the Boston Red Sox. The game ends when he grounds into his third double play of the night — his seventh of the series.
The next morning, the headline on the back page of the New York Post reads “Jesus H!!!!!” On WFAN he is lambasted for not being a “True Yankee.”
7. Suspecting that the problem is “between the ears,” Girardi and Cashman send Montero to see a sports psychiatrist. Montero is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and prescribed Xanax. Although he is given strict dosage instructions, he takes more than the recommended amount and quickly burns through all of his pills.
6. Desperate for more, he sets off searching through back channels. At a Manhattan night club, he comes into contact with a dealer of prescription drugs known only as “Cheeto.”
5. Montero and Cheeto begin to hang out more and become good friends. Montero gives him tickets to games and invites him into the clubhouse “family room” regularly. Montero’s teammates take notice and try to warn him about Cheeto, but he has no interest in hearing Mark Teixeira’s friendly advice, so he lashes out and punches Teixeira in his douchey face. He is suspended for three games by the team.
4. One night, after a particularly rough game, Cheeto introduces Montero to heroin. Unsurprisingly, Montero becomes addicted.
3. Montero misses batting practice and shows up just before first pitch still strung out from the night before. After the game, his teammates and coaches organize an intervention. “You’re disgracing the hallowed tradition of Yankee-dom,” says Derek Jeter, as if no Yankee has ever had a substance abuse problem before Montero. Montero checks into rehab the next day.
2. While in rehab, Montero has an epiphany and becomes a born again Christian. He resolves to cut all of the negative influences out of his life and preach the word of the other Jesus. In his proselytic zeal, he is recognized by his converts as the second coming of the messiah and develops a devoted following.
1. With just one Major League season in the books, Montero retires to travel the world as a missionary and establish his own ministry in his native Venezuela. It turns out that Montero is not actually the messiah, but he makes a fortune off of people who believe he is.